Conservative colleges are sometimes mistakenly portrayed as suppressing freedom of thought and intellectual growth. True, conservative colleges provide venues for expressing views that may not be mainstream, or at least, views that may not resonate well in a progressive atmosphere. But we see the role of conservative colleges as an important one, promoting intellectual vitality by welcoming views that are often hushed in many of America’s colleges and universities.
Many people picture the college experience as the time in life when young people grow in their intellectual independence. A common college student caricature suggests that students are supposed to be exposed to new, mind-blowing truths, learn the “truth” about life “in the real world,” and thus become more mature, well-rounded, enlightened adults. But college as a life-changing, mind-altering experience holds no less for conservative colleges.
“Conservative colleges” are institutions that adhere to some combination of (i) free-market economic principles, (ii) political philosophies that favor limited government, and (iii) traditional moral values, often grounded specific religious perspectives. Outside of the college and university world, people who favor conservative ideologies make up a large portion of the general public. Hence, these views are not the views of a marginalized minority. However, most American colleges promote progressivism and liberalism to an extent that does not reflect the views of the general public. Therefore, in the name of a healthy diversity, there is need for balance, and that balance comes by way of colleges that intentionally represent conservative ideas.
Our list of The 20 Best Conservative Colleges is made up schools that are conservative in at least one of the three following ways: politically, economically, and/or religiously. In all cases, the schools we selected example academically prestigious and excellent.
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